Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, March 14, 2004

RSS Job One: Managing The Real-Time Information Flow

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RSS and its tremendous potential are exponentially opening new visions and opportunities for how to manage, organize and access the vast ocean of information that is submerging us.


To help facilitate the understanding of the extraordinary transformations we are about to see in the access to electronic information and in the tremendous pivotal role that RSS is going to play in this evolution, I have chosen to give space to some of those other voices that I personally found to be most in-tune with my vision of the RSS-based future to come.

As I have mentioned in previous articles and as I will not get tired of repeating the synchronous emergence of a new powerful breed of search/aggreagation/filtering/syndication tools and the birth of a new socio-professional figure called the NewsMaster, usher in tangible form the rapid transformation from a mass media society to a truly multifaceted world culture in which vested media interests and conglomerates are countered by an army of small and independent news gatherers and publishers. This army is uniquely equipped with talent, reach and skill far beyond the ridicolous amass of propaganda and advertorial information we are sold as news today.

In these last few days, I have been particularly excited and encouraged by the growing number of articles, essays and posts hinting and describing in similar and complementary ways, the vision of the new Web that is already taking shape.

Gathered here are a few of the quotes that I found of particular value. Those I have selected are the ones that seem to have better grasped, in part or in its completeness, the actual deep transformation in information access, news creation and distribution that is just about to happen.

"This, or just having a weblog, or reading other peoples' blogs, are only partial adaptations to the rapidly-emerging new conditions. What we are also witnessing is the profound rise in importance of creating value - useful, actionable knowledge - out of the continuous flow of information.

Constructing valuable knowledge - adding value to the flow of information - comes from stitching and linking together information micro-content, to create valuable perspective, voice, advice and professional services."

John Battelle, an influential tech and business journalist, recently wrote an article for Business 2.0 titled "Why Blogs Mean Business".

In the article he outlines the various initiatives underway to make blogs more accessible, more easy to use, and more useful for business purposes in the online, interconnected information/knowledge environment in which all future business activities will unfold.

From the article:

"So here's my prediction.

Blogs will soon become a staple in the information diet of every serious businessperson, not because it's cool to read them, but because those who don't will fail.

In short, blogs offer an accelerated and efficient approach to acquiring and understanding the kind of information all of us need to make business decisions."

and also:

"In its second rev (it will launch early this year), [a new online service called] Kinja will incorporate a recommendation engine that will work somewhat like Amazon's. When you find a blog you like, Kinja will recommend other, similar blogs (note that Memigo does this already).

Over time, a Kinja-like approach to the blogosphere's wonderful mass of opinion, interpretation, fact, and fantasy will become standard for nearly everyone.

And Kinja isn't alone: AOL, Google, MSN, Yahoo, and even Amazon are paying attention, as are many startups.

The race is on to make your blog-reading experience relevant, efficient, and profitable.

Who will win? I don't care, as long as it happens quickly and it works. With nearly 10,000 new blogs coming online each day, there's little time to waste."

And here is the mission statement from Quickdraft, a new, yet to be launched new technology:

The Company's Mission is to shape the evolution of customized business services that are based on the exchange of valuable information and knowledge.

In a world where the principles of mass customization grow more important all the time, the QuickDraft tools and services, packaged together with other components, will provide a microcontent assembly and publishing application that can serve as a true platform for information-and-knowledge based business services.

Quickdraft Blog March 8th 2004

Business professionals, and their clients and partners, increasingly need to cope effectively with an ongoing torrent of information. The appetite for high-end, customized business information - the type of information that helps people become and remain more influential, make decisions and connect with each other to start practical relationships - has to date created a $15 billion market in professional publishing in the US alone. Blogging is extending and re-shaping this market."

QuickDraft is a tool and application that allows knowledge professionals to extract valuable pieces of information micro-content from the ongoing flow, and then reassemble and redistribute those pieces for specific uses - my content, my way, for my and my clients' purposes.

Finally, here is a great excerpt from Vin Crosbie's excellent article on USC Annenberg Online Journalism Review:
What Newspapers and Their Web Sites Must Do to Survive:

"No one media company -- even aided by the AP -- has the editorial resources to provide the world's diversity of content to its readers, an important facet of why generic newspapers lack relevance to most individuals. A reader reads a copy of a newspaper to be informed about everything that should interest him that day, not for the privilege of reading just one company's branded content.

That means opening the walls of those newspaper companies' vertical integration and inter-syndicating their and other companies' content right down to the story level.

This also means that newspaper companies should even acquire distribution rights to stories and information from reputable sources that might not traditionally have been parts of newspapers -- such as trade journals, newsletters, magazines, blogs, other Web sites, etc.

The communications, indexing (notably XML), and billing technologies already exist to do this.

A newspaper's service is to aggregate and deliver all the news that a reader should be interested in that day. This service can be branded, but it shouldn't be a package of only one brand's content, and that content should possibly be from all sources, including nontraditional newspaper ones.

This service saves readers from having to search hundreds or thousands or millions of the world's content sources for that information -- a vital service in an era of data smog. It's a service for which newspaper companies should be able to generate great revenues and secure larger readership in the 21st century."

Who is going to make the newspapers of the near future?
Chris Pirillo and Rafat Ali or the well known guys newly redressed?

See also:

  • "The New News: Tuning Content To Context": Question of news value driving papers
    by Jim Chisholm from The International Journal Of Newspaper Technology
  • Information Overload: The Future Of Search And Information Access
    Readers' Comments    
    2004-03-14 21:35:44

    Trudy W. Schuett

    I've got an essay in the same vein at
    my blog entitled, "Blogs--the Next Generation Internet," it outlines why I think blogs with their RSS capabilities are finally opening up the Internet to the realm of the non-techie, but thinking general public.

    2004-03-14 18:03:36


    To me, it sounds all good. The technology to provide it is all here, and all we need is some progress in how online and offline media works. Which is likely to happen. But it would also mean that very soon we are going to observe the birth of the commercial RSS feed. Which would lead to the P2P RSS feed-swapping clients. Which would lead to newspapers suing readers... oh, well.

    posted by Robin Good on Sunday, March 14 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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